Post game breakdown, video: Maryland-Eastern Shore
Some news, notes and quotes from UConn's convincing 84-50 rout of Maryland-Eastern Shore at the XL Center in Hartford:
-- Maryland-EasternShore(0-10) just may be the worst team on UConn's schedule. The Huskies (8-2) recorded their most lopsided victory of the season coming off a 10-day exam break.
-- The Huskies picked apart the Hawks. They made crisp passes, racking up a season-high 21 assists, and shared the basketball.
"I was very happy with the ball movement," coach Kevin Ollie said.
It added up to UConn shooting a season-best 66 percent (33-for-50) from the field. The mark is the program's fourth highest field goal percentage since 1980.
-- The Huskies also got hot from 3-point range, converting a season-high 10 out of 19 attempts. They came in shooting 30 percent from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Ryan Boatright made a career-high five out of six. Freshman Omar Calhoun hit 3-of-4.
UConn made nine of its first 12 3-pointers.
"They shot the 3-pointer a lot better than we had anticipated," MES coach Frankie Allen said.
-- UConn's guards continue to carry the offensive load. Calhoun scored a career-high 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting and Boatright had 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting while Shabazz Napier finished with 11 points on 4-for-4 from the field.
Calhoun emerged from a funk. In the previous two games, he had just five points and made just 1-of-11 field goals. He credited the improvement to putting in extra work in the gym.
"I was unhappy with the way I was playing (in the last two games)," Calhoun said. "I was happy the break came when it did."
-- For the ninth time in 10 games, UConn was out-rebounded, losing the battle by a 30-26 margin. And the Hawks are a bad rebounding team. They had been out-rebounded by almost nine rebounds per game coming in.
"Of course, we got out-rebounded again," Ollie said. "We'll continue to shore that up."
Junior Tyler Olander had zero rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench.
DeAndre Daniels, Enosch Wolf and Ryan Boatright shared the team-rebounding lead with four apiece. Wolf started at center for the second straight game and didn't score a point in 13 minutes.
-- UConn picked up the defensive pressure in the second half. Maryland-EasternShore shot just 29.2 percent (7-for-24) after intermission after converting 46.4 percent in the first half. The Huskies also forced 16 turnovers overall.
"Defense was non-existent in the first half," Ollie said. "Giving 46 percent, that's not something that we want to do. But the second half, they turned it on."
-- Reserves saw plenty of action on Monday.
Freshman Leon Tolksdorf hit his first career field goal and finished with four points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals – all career highs – in 20 minutes.
Freshman Phillip Nolan tied his career high with six points in 16 minutes.
Ollie said both players earned the playing time in practice.
"If they weren't doing the job in practice, I wouldn't have the confidence to play them in these games," Ollie said. "They've been doing a tremendous job."
Even four walk-ons made an appearance for the first time this season. Senior Dave Vandal ofStoningtonplayed the final 46 seconds.
-- Guard R.J. Evans of Salem was held out of the game so he could continue to heal from his injury (clavicle). Ollie said that Evans could have played, if needed.
-- UConn held a pre-game ceremony to honor the victims of the Newtown tragedy. Check out my story Tuesday for more on the Huskies' tribute.
-- Check out the attached video of Ollie's post-game press conference.
-- Up next: UConn hosts Fordham on Friday in Hartford.
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